RTP (Return to Player) is one of the most discussed strategy topics among online casino players. It is, in a sense, similar to the house edge you would see in a land-based casino. If a game has an RTP of 97%, it means that the game will – theoretically – pay off that amount over time.
Thus, for every $100 bet, the game’s software ensures that the payout will be $97 in the long run. As mentioned, this is similar to the house edge, although opposite. In a regular casino, you want the house edge to be as low as possible, but in an online casino, you want the RTP to be as high as possible.
However, some players would argue that RTP is not a hugely important factor. After all, payback rates are worked out over millions of spins, so it probably won’t come into play in a short gaming session. Nevertheless, the point still stands, the higher the RTP, the higher your theoretical chance of winning. Whereas table games such as roulette and blackjack generally have their RTPs made to reflect real world possibilities, there is usually some other place with slot games. Typically, the RTP in slot games can range from around 92%-98%, with most being somewhere in between.
Jackpot games can have low RTP
Now, while this is an easy concept to grasp, and some players may choose to play games with famously high RTPs like NetEnt’s Blood Suckers, there are also instances where the RTP is not quite as clear cut. This is especially the case with progressive jackpot games.
A typical example of a progressive jackpot game would be Age of the Gods: Norse Gods and Giants, which is part of the Playtech Age of the Gods Jackpot range. Mega Moolah by Microgaming is another example. Both these games offer impressive progressive jackpots, which are structured in several levels. Any spin can lead to the Jackpot Bonus Game, where you are guaranteed to win one of the prizes, the largest of which can be in the millions.
What players should understand is that progressive jackpot games have a slightly lower RTP than games without jackpots. Why? Well, it’s because those jackpots are funded by player contributions, ie a small amount is deducted from each spin. In the most common cases – such as Playtech’s Age of the Gods range – the contribution is around 1%.
This means that most games in the series are still around 94-96%, which is right around the average for any slot game. Meanwhile, Mega Moolah’s RTP is just 88.12% when jackpot contributions are excluded, and 94% when they are included. It is important.
do your research before you play
why is it important? Well, 88.12% is a very low RTP, even for a game genre as volatile as Slots. However, that’s not to say that Mega Moolah is a bad game choice – far from it. It is a great game, and one of the most popular slots in the world. However, players must understand that a lot of emphasis is placed on the jackpots. In essence, you are paying a premium to have a chance at one of the Mega Moolah Jackpots.
Therefore, players must come up with a risk vs reward strategy. Are they shooting for the moon to hit a jackpot? Or are they just trying to grind the game to make a few bucks profit, maybe even to meet the bonus wagering requirements? If it’s the latter, then perhaps Jackpot Slots should be avoided. If it’s the former, players can be sure that a healthy amount of their wagering contribution has gone into the jackpot. Remember, some of these progressive prizes can be as large as National Lottery payouts.
Regardless, it’s always worth doing your research before playing. As mentioned earlier, RTP does not mean that you will win or lose in a specific session. However, the information is readily available out there, and you can do research before you play to see where and how your money goes for the prizes in the game.